September 10, 2019

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Kansas City area Education News

Missouri gives millions in college aid, but little goes to KC students needing it most

By Mara Rose Williams, KC Star

The state of Missouri gives millions of dollars to students every year to pay for two years of college. Yet most of the money goes to students in more affluent districts and not to those who need it the most. Now educators want the state to reexamine the criteria for the 30-year-old A+ scholarship program so students who may not qualify — often through no fault of their own — would have a better chance at getting the money. “I would love to see A+ identify some flex criteria or tier the scholarship monies,” said Jermaine Wilson, director of counseling and support services for Kansas City Public Schools.

Schools, police work to support students as wave of violence continues

By William Joy, KMBC 9 News
From May through the first week of September, around a dozen teens have been killed in the metro, including students at school districts on both sides of the state line. Dr. Lateshia Woodley leads the Kansas City Public Schools program to help staff and students handle the trauma of violent crime.  “We must do something about the violence that’s going on in Kansas City.” she said. “It just takes a toll on everyone involved.” This summer KCPS expanded its counselor program to help handle crime, discipline and poverty issues.  “We really have to do something different in Kansas City Public Schools to really meet the needs of our students,” Woodley said. “Nowadays you’re seeing a higher incidence of students who are coming to school with trauma.”

Missouri/Kansas Education News

Financial aid program gives education opportunities to Missouri adults

By Mikayla Easley, Missourian
If you’ve ever thought about going to college or finishing your degree, a new state grant might help you get started. The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is now offered at a selection of higher education institutions across the state. The program hopes to increase employment in high-demand careers and the percentage of working-age adults with higher education by offering financial assistance to those seeking degrees, certificates or industry-recognized credentials.

National Education News

The Push to Get More Teachers of Color in Special Education Classrooms

By Madeline Will, Education Week

It’s a constant struggle for school districts across the country to find qualified special education teachers. An extra challenge: finding special educators of color to help meet the needs of a student population that can be disproportionately nonwhite.  Just over 82 percent of special education teachers in public schools are white, according to 2011-12 federal data, the most recent available. Meanwhile, only about half of students receiving special education services are white, according to 2017-18 data. Yet teacher diversity matters: Decades of research has shown that students often perform better academically when they are taught by teachers of the same race.

Schools Say No to Cellphones in Class. But Is It a Smart Move?

By Alyson Klein,  Education Week
Sexting. Cyberbullying. Googling test answers. Taking a picture of a quiz and sending it to friends who have the same class later in the day. Paying more attention to Instagram notifications than biology class. Smartphones have transformed the way we communicate, but there’s no question they can be a major headache for teachers and administrators. That’s why a flurry of schools have recently put in place restrictions or bans on students’ use of cellphones in school. The changes represent a pivot away from the more open student cellphone policies that districts instituted in previous years. But not everyone thinks the new restrictions are a step in the right direction.

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